Industry site Deadline is reporting that the new proposed sequel to Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, may be having a bloodbath of its own with news that directors Andy and Ryan Tohill have abruptly left the production in the last 48 hours.
The film was only a week into filming in Bulgaria (perhaps not the ideal substitute for the American southern state of the title) and it is being claimed that Legendary Films looked at the footage that had been shot and were not satisfied with what they saw. Texas-born David Blue Garcia has immediately stepped in to pick up the reins. Like Tobe Hooper, Garcia (an Emmy-winning cinematographer) is no stranger to making low budgets work and every cent count. Garcia made his directorial feature debut with Tejano in 2018, an action drama about a young man taking on the Mexican Cartel and made on a budget of only $55K. The film has been well received at a number of international festivals and won the Audience Award from the Dallas International Film Festival the same year.
Films changing directors during production is rare but certainly not unheard of… there have been significant high-profile examples in recent years and ‘creative differences’ are often cited if the director’s vision doesn’t match the studio’s. A ‘conscious uncoupling‘ type of statement is usually issued to paper over any cracks. However it is unusual that a directing team would depart the project so soon after production began and necessitating a Day One restart and so far there’s been no official word on the events.
The original film debuted in 1974 and starred Marlyn Burns, Paul A. Partian, Edwin Neal and Jim Sideow – with Icelander Gunnar Hansen as ‘Leatherface’ becoming a genre icon. Hooper passed away in 2017, two years after Hansen. Though the original film was said to be partly inspired by real-life serial killer Ed Gein, the ‘true story’ moniker was mostly questionable and a product of creative marketing, but over time the movie still became a cult horror/slasher classic. The new film would be a direct follow-up to that original and ignoring the events of the sequels and the 2003 reboot starring Jessica Biel (with Andrew Bryniarski in the ‘Leatherface’ role) and the sequels to that which followed, including one in 3D.
The latest has Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Sarah Yarkin (Happy Death Day 2U), Jacob Latimore (The Maze Runner) and Moe Dunford (Vikings) in key roles.